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australia, ocean

Detours off Britta Blvd


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the big news! :D
Back in January I posted what house projects I completed in 2008, plus what I had planned for 2009. I've gotten a lot done already with 2009 not quite half over yet, including the most ambitious project on my list that is well underway!

Brittahytta home & garden improvements for 2009 already completed:

  • plant blueberries - January 2009, but unfortunately scorched by the early spring heat wave, so hoping they survive
  • paint living room - "wheatland beige" paint purchased 3 years ago! - finished January 2009
  • paint kitchen/dining area - same paint as living room - finished January 2009
  • paint hallway - same paint as living room - finished January 2009
  • finally fix the darn linen closet doors that have never shut properly since I moved in - started Project Weekend 2009, refinished paint March 2009
  • install new kitchen light - finished Project Weekend 2009
  • install old kitchen light in garage laundry area - finished Project Weekend 2009
  • paved front porch to match new pathways - finished Project Weekend 2009
  • installing proper drainage from 3 downspouts under pathway - Project Weekend 2009
  • crack out existing concrete pathway before city cleanup March 14th - finished March 2009
  • buy new fridge! - removed cabinets early so larger fridge would fit - March 2009 - scored at the EXPO closing sale!
  • new front brick pathway dryset in sand to match back & new front path - April 2009
  • rebuild back garden wall with new concrete scrap - April 2009
  • new brick pathway from porch to gate to meet original brick pathway - May 2009
  • side yard vegetable garden again - those tomatoes were tasty! - planted in March, already baby tomatoes!
  • new projector for Cinema Brittahytta - testing new projector & speakers on June 9th with first audience of the summer

    still to-do for 2009:

  • plant pumpkins under quince tree & move garden bench & wishing well out past pumpkin patch? worth a try! been watching but no seedlings for sale yet - could plant seeds but seedlings easier
  • finish stain treatment on painted beams in living room - been waiting for 3 years already! *sigh* hopefully before Halloween...
  • new patio flooring - found outdoor "sisal" wall-to-wall carpet online - will wait until later this summer (see below!)
  • fireplace mantel - make from two griffins + crown molding - finish in July with chopsaw in Sac since scored on fancy wide crown molding & baseboard at ReStore in April

    ...and last but by no means least...(fanfare please!)...the kitchen remodel is well underway, hopefully all finished before 4th of July! :D

  • countless floor plans & elevation drawings refining the new kitchen design since January - Visio workout for me!
  • new fridge has been in place since March - almost $1000 less than price I saw last year due to EXPO closing sale!
  • new Tuscan Bronze faucet onsite since March - another EXPO score for 50% less than any price online
  • gorgeous raw copper embossed farmhouse apron sink onsite on patio since April (thanks Jules for finding those links!)
  • kitchen cabinets removed from kitchen & installed in garage where possible (thanks for the help, Cyd!)
  • factory-direct discount EcoTop counters already onsite in garage since May
  • bashing ceramic tile off the floor by myself since May
  • plumber recommendation from boot camp crew only needs 3 days notice & should have no problem with my minor install (thanks to the Luck family for the recommendation!)
  • video pipe inspection for peace of mind under new flooring - now I have a DVD of my main line from the street manhole to my master bath - would you like to watch? ;)
  • electrical estimate & contract secured in May (thanks for the recommendation, Robin!)
  • city permits acquired in May (electrical alterations + minor building permit for pantry walls)
  • bronze finish disposal air switch vs. wall switch half-price from Overstock.com in May
  • black powdercoat disposal/drain flange coming from Utah remodel leftovers new in box via eBay $10 less than anywhere I can buy new online
  • 625 sf laminate wood flooring purchased at IKEA (thanks Cyd for the hauling help!)
  • hiring Handyman Charles to help me build walk-in pantry walls tomorrow (thanks Charles!)
  • hoping my floor is prepped enough for Charles to give me flooring install lessons after walls built on Saturday
  • rough electrical installation scheduled for Monday morning (after pantry walls framed)
  • hoping for rough inspection on Tuesday so can continue *crossing fingers!*
  • new black electric slide-in range and fancy panel-ready dishwasher arriving Monday - hooray for contractor discount from Uncle Monte! He also suggested the walk-in pantry, the biggest drool factor for everyone who sees my plans! :)
  • custom alder cabinets, wood structure, toekick drawers, pullout shelves, all bells & whistles with custom matching pantry door currently under construction from Gus the plumber's uncle Richard who was going to close his shop otherwise - glad we both benefit!

    kitchen color story = raw copper sink, EcoTop samples (Pecan is the winner), Tuscan Bronze faucet, IKEA "antique effect" flooring

    So, now you can see why I've been so busy the past few months! When not at work or doing all the other stuff I've already posted, I've been either revising layout drawings, researching & purchasing, packing up my kitchen or bashing tile off my floor! I also was wary of posting too early in case I might jinx something...the cabinet order was one of the last details to get in place for sure, but now that's in process, I feel much better that everything is underway!

    The last major detail is choosing castley stone(like) backsplash tile, but since I can't install that until after the cabinets & counter are in anyway, I have a little time to go shopping. I have a general idea in my head of what I'd like (think the flagstone pattern from my Halloween walls, but more tan than gray), but haven't investigated local tile stores. I also haven't found any knobs or pulls I like enough, but at my request Richard is making me fingerpull cabinet doors & drawers, so I won't have to install knobs or pulls anyway. My parents' kitchen doesn't have hardware, and I might like the cleaner look.

    From my estimates, since I don't always know what the price would be if I paid labor for what I've been doing by myself so far, I will probably get a $35K kitchen including new hallway & living room flooring for about $25K that was secured last year when our company stock was nice & high, so sure glad I sold options when I did...still not any low-budget kitchen & I could have cut more corners to be cheaper, but I think the value I'm getting is definitely worth it!

    Biggest splurge = gorgeous copper farmhouse sink...almost as expensive as the fridge(!), but smiling every time I do dishes will be as worth it as the expensive teal custom paint job is every time I smile when I see the Briata, even 5 years later... :)

    Best deal (so far?) = found the matching finish dishwasher air gap for $20 online but won on eBay new in box for $0.99 + $4 shipping...woohoo!

    Happy Friday everyone!

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    wow, you have been a busy bee! it all looks fantastic, and i can't wait to see photos of the finished product, as it looks like it might be a long while before i get to see it in person again. :(

    That sink is absolutely gorgeous! So gorgeous, in fact, that if I bought it for my kitchen, and then eventually sold the house, I would seriously consider replacing it and taking that one to the new house with me.

    I have a quick question, if you don't mind, and since you travel more than anyone I know; I'm looking into buying a hard shell Samsonite suitcase, since every time I get a new suitcase it usually gets ruined on the trip somehow (usually by the baggage handlers). Is there a certain type or size you would recommend, with any particular features you found to have come in handy? Thanks!

    Yes, don't think I haven't thought about possibly taking the sink with me when I move! haha...

    My only suitcase purchase was emergency in Oslo so I had no chance for advance research, but I do like the Samsonite I got. It's lavender (2nd best to teal/aqua) & came in a few colors, red or navy too I think, and since it's vertical roller with large wheels & a rigid pullout handle, it is much more comfortable for me to roll it behind me without a backache. My ancient 80s Samsonite was hard fiberglass sides that took lots of abuse, which I miss, since this one is thinner plastic, and hard enough around the edges to protect full glass bottles, but if you sit on the main body, it bends. However for the better ergonomics of pulling it & less weight in the suitcase itself, I can pack well enough with clothes on the side with the thinner plastic. My best recommendation is not to buy too large, since I have trouble packing under the 50lb limit for flights even though my hard case is plastic & lighter than my old one. Weight restrictions are getting worse & worse, so lighter is better, and smaller so you can't overpack. :) Good luck!

    I hadn't even thought about the 50 lb limit!

    I was thinking about upgrading the size I usually get to (hopefully) reduce the amount of luggage I carry. I tend to pack light as it is, for souvenirs and knowing that if I'm traveling with my mother (who always overpacks) she'll end up having to redistribute the contents of her suitcase, and the overflow inevitably ends up in my suitcase. =) At least on my last trip I had the forethought to pack my smaller suitcase inside of the larger one that it nests in, so my mom and aunt would have somewhere to pack souvenirs!

    Thanks for the tip, and good luck with the remodel, I look forward to seeing how everything turns out!

    I am so impressed!

    I wish I were as efficient as you. I can blame a bit of my lacking efficiency on having a child and being pregnant, and some on the money issue involved, but there's still PLENTY of stuff I could do which wouldn't take much time or effort, and which wouldn't cost much, so really I have no great excuses. I look forward to seeing your house in real life some time in the future. (Hopefully you'll still have room for us all if I keep making babies at this rate!)


    Re: I am so impressed!

    Taking care of an active little boy AND a husband while you are pregnant and working is more than enough to do! You still do plenty...your garden is much farther along than mine this year! I am a bit extreme...several friends have been saying I'm crazy & should rest a bit, but I want the kitchen finished so I can enjoy it!

    Don't worry, I will make room for your entire family when you can visit! :)

    backsplash inspiration

    Britta, I was looking for some tile for a client's kitchen and came across this site www.gothictile.com . I thought of your kitchen right away,and thought this would be some inspiration if you want to do a focal point behind the range. Also just some nifty "installations" .
    Good luck on the renovation. I can't wait to see the results!

    Cassie tannaleaf@yahoo.com

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